Monday, December 7, 2015

Spreading Cheers

Best Blogger Tips
Last Saturday, when the traffic was so bad, I was in Alabang going home from work. Seeing cars lined up bumper to bumper made me feel really unwilling to go home. But then I remembered that December 5 was the Cheer Party schedule for Starbucks ATC. Since I won’t be able to go anywhere with the heavy traffic for two hours, I decided to drop by and join.

I have been aware of the Cheer Parties for years, but I haven't attended any. It was all a matter of conflicts in schedule. But now, the opportunity came. I got there at exactly 5PM, around the time the party started, too. Such excellent timing! (^_^)
 
The Starbucks Cheer Party at Alabang Town Center

Ah~ For the first time, I wasn't bored in the queue. From the outside, I could hear a nice soulful music being played inside the store. Another thing: food samples were given. Yay! Here we have a featured beverage: The Christmas Panettone Latte Frappuccino.

The sample size of the Christmas Panettone Latte Frappuccino. Yum!

The baristas on site were very friendly and were all smiles. Oooh~ This "Cheer" Party really lives up to its name! One even talked to me while I was waiting for my turn. She asked if it was my first time to attend. She told me to expect happy things like buy one get one on drinks. I felt very welcomed. True, joy is contagious. *Heart*Heart*

I found out that some merchandise were discounted only during the Cheer Party...


Discounted stuff during the Party
Finally, I got to the counter. Since the buy one get one offer was available, I ordered Peppermint Mocha Frap and Toffee Nut Frap. And yes! I was alone so I gulped them all myself. Hehehe~

My Peppermint Mocha and Toffee Nut Fraps.
More happiness! I was given a raffle stub for a chance to win 2016 Planners. Lemme tell you! The prizes were gorgeous! There were drawstring bags, Starbucks card, jackets, and hoodies. I wanted the hoodie... but unfortunately, my lucky stub wasn't lucky enough.
My stub for the raffle and photo booth.
Drinking coffee is great with music, right? I did tell you about an awesome music earlier. Here is a 30 second video of the live band singing "Santa Baby". They make you feel all Christmas-y...



The smiling baristas were very enthusiastic as they prepared drinks. To think it was such a busy night because the queue seemed endless. I was very happy when they agreed to pose for a picture.

Drinks! Drinks! Yummy Frappuccinos everywhere!

All smiles. (^_^)
More food samples were given out. It kept on coming one after the other. More Christmas Panettone Latte Fraps, Toffee Nut Fraps, cookies, and brownies.


The barista serving Toffee Nut Brownies
Before I forget, what's the best token? A photo souvenir! The one at the party was a unique card magnet. 






After two hours, it was time to go. As I thought, the traffic wasn't that bad anymore. I went home full of happiness. Like the baristas, I want to spread the cheer, too! \(^_^)/. Merry Christmas, everyone! 

 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Life of Colors

Best Blogger Tips
Coloring books are one of the "in" thing this year. And me, being an explorer that I am, just had to "try" this trend. Guess what, I’m actually enjoying it!
 

Two of my own coloring books.
Back in high school, I belonged to the arts club but I wasn't into drawing, I was into painting. But oil painting is expensive and as I grew older, I slowly abandoned the practice. Actually, I let go of art entirely and focused on... work. *sigh*

It all started with my colleagues at work who bought adult coloring books. I saw how pretty the illustrations of Paris, cafe, gardens, and animals were. It's funny how my work brought me back to art. My career is very far from the artsy creativity; it's more on thinking and analysis. Hehehe~

When my sister came to visit recently, she brought along patterns of mandalas which she happily shared with me. I bought a 12-piece coloring pencil set and started on a simple dream catcher pattern. Then, I found myself coloring non stop, forgetting time, and just letting my right brain flow.



After the Dream Catcher, I started on this mandala

So, my coloring journey began.

You can use different media in your coloring book. Watercolor, oil pastel, colored pens, and even crayons are just some examples. Hey, it's your coloring book, right? My personal preference is a 24-piece coloring pencils set. It's the commonly used medium for coloring books and it doesn't cost a lot. 


My 24 colored pencils
From simple mandalas, I decided to go for more challenging ones. Those that don't take two hours to finish, but days. At first I was hesitant when I saw how difficult and detailed the patterns were, take for example, Johanna Basford's Secret Garden.

Some challenging patterns in Secret Garden
However, as I started on intricate patterns, I realized that you just have to take each part one at a time. That way, it becomes easier to fill in. Just one simple step at a time, one leaf, one flower, at a time.

I just let myself go when I color. Sometimes, I color it plain, sometimes with gradient effects. It's just depends on my current state of mood. No pressure... I just choose colors at random. Who cares if I color the leaves red, right? If my colors go beyond the lines, I just let it be.

In the end, I always get surprised at the result... a masterpiece borne out of days of wavering moods and states of mind.


A photo posted by Angel Mariel (@myangelmariel) on


 

Sure, there are mobile coloring apps but I enjoy doing it for real. It's the strokes of my hand, the result of the pencil on paper, and the blend of colors that relaxes my mind. It's a nice retreat after a stressful day at work or after fighting through the traffic jam. The trick is, to just let your sub-consciousness guide you. Isn't that what therapy is all about?

Funny thing is that... as I color, a lot of ideas come to mind. What the next book to read, what new movie to watch, what to do tomorrow. But after all those things, all I end up is doing more coloring! Hahaha~

I promise I will buy more sets of colors of pencils once I've decided to get serious with this new hobby! Or maybe once I'm finished with every single intricate pattern in Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest, or Alice in Wonderland. *wink*wink*

 Are you into coloring books, too?



Monday, October 26, 2015

Angel Mariel Meets Kaname (Finally!)

Best Blogger Tips
The 2015 Cosplay Mania was quite a memorable one to me. The only reason is... it's because I was able to get a Meet-and-Greet ticket to see Kaname!

My tickets for Cosplay Mania 2015
Ever since 2012, I was thrilled when it was announced that he would be one of the guests. But no... meet and greet tickets got sold out quickly. 

Then came 2013, I got disappointed because I was on queue at SM Tickets, waiting for the allotted time for the tickets to be available. But lo and behold! It's all sold out even BEFORE  the announced time. What sorcery was that huh? Anyway, my sadness was replaced with happiness when during the competition part of the event, I was at the barricades of the judges table and saw him in near range. I even reached out my hand and he also stretched out his... for a handshake. However, the distance between two hands was just too much, and they never met. (T_T) I still remember Kaname looking at me as he smiled and did a 'peace' sign twice. (^_^)v

I didn't get a handshake but I did get this photo shot
For the year 2014, well... I don't think I even had a glance of him. (T_T)

Now... 2015! Wheee~ By some kind of chance, I got a ticket! Honestly, I thought it would all be sold out again. But yay! I guess my prayers were heard. On the day itself, October 4, 2015, I went to the venue very early. Yeah, I was THAT excited. And I happily bought a photo card print for the autograph session.


On the photo: Kaname as Velnar from Chain Chronicles

In Meeting Room 1, a few moments before the session, the hosts Nadia and Vic Kumiko told us to call Kaname... and to scream "Pikachu" because he likes that Pokemon. The moment the door opened.. *gasp*... I held my breath and my eyes went big! I couldn't believe it's him and he was so near! 


Kaname greeting us at the start of the session
Kaname got on the platform and greeted us! He even asked us what our favorite L'Arc~en~Ciel song is. Well, I only know one song. It's from my favorite anime Fullmetal Alchemist. Yep... and it's what the audience told him: Ready, Steady, Go! Yaaaaaay!!!!!!

First was the autograph session. We were allowed to talk to him. When it was my turn, in my starstruck moment, I was only able to say, "Hi, Kaname-san, watashi wa Marieru desu!" (Hi Kaname! I am Mariel). "Ah! Marieru~!", was his gleeful reply! Up until now, I can't forget his happy voice and Japanese accent when he greeted me... or the stroke of his right hand when he wrote my name in Katakana characters! 

 
This photo was taken moments before my turn in the autograph session.


...and Kaname wrote my name in Katakana... with a HEART! askfaskdlsaks!!!!
And then, he looked into my eyes and reached out his right hand for a... handshake! *Gasp* I suddenly flashed back into 2013, in the barricades, when our stretching hands couldn't reach. But I pulled myself in the present moment, and happily received the handshake. Finally! The two hands touched. I was left with a smiling face and kilig (shivers down the spine) to the bones!

After that was the photo session. Fans calmly waited for their turn. Almost all of us opted for a selfie, me included. It was Kaname, himself, who offered his hand for the selfie shots! Tell you what, his angle is amazing! 


A photo posted by Angel Mariel (@myangelmariel) on



After two hours of it, the session ended... but not without us having a group photo with Kaname. It's in his phone. Yay! And we heard him say, "I love you"... and all of us screamed in kilig! Hihihi~

Kaname thanked us all for coming in his meet-and-greet session

Just when I thought that it was my only time with Kaname, well think again. After strolling around in the event. My sister and friends, and me were sitting near the CosShoppe Satellite Booth. We found out that Kaname would be there by 6PM to sell his merchandise. And of course, we all ran to get the stub! I got the Uchiwa fan this time. 

Okay okay... we entered the booth and got another chance to see him up close. To my surprise my sister talked to him... in Japanese! Woah~~ she was able to maintain composure with Kaname around.


Lil sis asking Kaname about his favorite Filipino food. His answer: Beef Soup (Nilaga daw!)
It was my turn after my sister. Kaname gave me the Uchiwa fan and ugh... I don't remember if I talked to him. Hahaha~ But good news is, he agreed to have his photo taken in my phone. It's feels surreal... seeing him look at my camera...


Kaname-san looking at you!

Ah~ That pretty much sums up one of my best moments of the year. Having a photo of him was one of my dreams, too. After my photo op with Alodia, I silently wished for Kaname. I didn't expect that it would come true months later. Life is good! Overall, my Cosplay Mania 2015 was Kaname-stalking day! Teehee~

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cosplay Mania 2015

Best Blogger Tips
Cosplay Mania 2015 was held at SMX Convention Center on the 3rd and 4th of October 2015. The event featured big names in cosplay and Japanese music. As usual, I was only able to go on the second day, Sunday.

Unfortunately, guys. I wasn't able to do much coverage this time because... I managed to grab a meet-and-greet ticket for Kaname! My slot was at 11AM and the session started my day. I couldn't pull myself together after that. Heehee~

Kaname as Lavi Bookman of D.Gray-man
Kaname signs for a fan
 Yep, I also had my chance for an autograph and a photo op, but I will tell you more about it in a separate post. I got a lot of things to say to you, guys! (^_^)

Even though I was on a high after meeting my cosplay idol, I did my best to look around and see what the event had to offer. First, was the event stage...

The hosts of Cosplay Mania 2015

Everybody literally flocked to the Pikachu booth.

I saw Loverin Tamburin and her band, too.

Sorry for the blurry picture, guys. But I was so happy to see Jesuke Jes wave at us. (^_^)
This year, the booth section was so vast, man! Toys, T-shirts, mugs, keychains, and a whole lot of anime stuff were there... Where's money when you need it?


Pile's official merchandise

Who likes Keybies? I do... I got the Ezio one.
Magic: The Gathering had a demo session in their booth. Last year, I tried the iPad app. Now, I was very lucky to have someone actually teach me how to play it. It's more fun to battle with someone, I agree on that. And... I got a free deck, too! It's the red one this time.


The latest edition of Magic

The Magic booth where everybody is free to play
Hey~ Kaname was not the only cosplayer I took photos of. Here are my shots of a few cosplayers I saw at the event... 

Cyclops and Spiderman

as Tifa from Final Fantasy



Edward Kenway from Assassin's Creed 4




as Junko Enoshima from Dangan Ropa

Cosplayer Lionel as Ken of Streetfighter


Yay! A cosplayer of Edward Elric! FMA is my favorite anime, ever!



Sailormoon and Sailor Jupiter cosplayers

as Yuudachi Kai Ni from Kancolle

Saber cosplayers

as Tamahome and Miaka from Fushigi Yuugi


as Hestia





as Yuna of Final Fantasy

as Ahri from League of Legends







And my favorite cosplayer of the day is... 


Kaname cosplaying Lavi Bookman

...Kaname as Lavi Bookman form D.Gray-man. Character portrayal and costume accuracy: perfect! 'Nuff said. Hihihi

Woah woah~ I didn't expect that the 2015 Cosplay Mania would be my most memorable to date! It just gets better and better every year. Wheee~ I got a lot of stuff, too. 


My Cosplay Mania haul

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Twitter Bird Gadget